FUNGALPUNK GIG REVIEWS
A shite nights sleep, the kidneys twanging again but up early and all sorted ready to go to Pontypool with a band who were playing and raring to do the business. A phone call - no driver - fuck, fuckity fuck - a day down the pan and more people let down. I used the time to do house duties, a few computer chores and to just arse about with the missus whilst my daughter pottered around Stockport with her friends and then went dance practicing. Luckily a fine gent known as Adam was putting a gig on locally so I thought it would be some consolation to myself to get a noise fix and an ideal opportunity to support some worthy crews as well as the said promoter for the day.
Hitting the venue after just gone 7pm the crowd was fairly decent and a nice atmosphere was had. In fact the atmosphere the whole night through was excellent and I duly encouraged Adam to keep these gigs going - Stockport is barren at the mo and with my apparently controversial name not allowing me to indulge it would be great if this young chap would take up a new venture for the lovers of noise. He is certainly more likeable than me - harrumph!
The 4 bands on show tonight offered a solid mix, 3 of which I knew to be reliable acts full of decent folk who just love making a racket. The crowd also had a few decent folk in whom I chatted away with about various topics and noise related issues. And so to the first band...(well a couple of beers first...slurp, slurp).
Auto Dafe...never heard of em', never seen em', no expectations whatsoever - maybe this being their first gig explains matters a little ha, ha. A three-piece coming from the indie side of the spectrum and creating a concoction of melody that covered a fair area of acoustic ground. In parts the rhythms became convoluted and quite intriguing but not to a point where befuddlement was had. The clarity was kept, the openness of delivery honest and the overall scent I was picking up on was of a band willing to dabble and so not get restricted by a generic label. Good news indeed in these sickly sonic times and with many a sound song to boot, some sincere vocal deliveries and a varied sticks approach the band may have a very diverse gig list under their belts in no time at all. Advice - well in truth only a small amount at this stage - add a bit more intricacy to the bassism and make sure all components are well emphasised at all times and make their own mark on each and every song. I will leave it at that for now and look forward to catching up with these 3 minstrels again very soon. Good luck with all yer efforts chaps.
No Decorum next and featuring the aforementioned Adam who took full opportunity of putting the gig on and squeezing his band on the bill. I have known Adam a fair while and dabbled with his old band Section 47, who by coincidence had his girlfriend on bass and the same stickman, both of whom were in tonight's outfit. The only difference is that vocal duties are left to a jolly nice chap who is gaining in confidence all the time. The set tonight was typical fare although Adam on guitar seemed a trifle flat. Nevertheless the crowd got entertained and numerous sing-a-long songs came forth with gushing zest and improving application. Saying this, in a few parts I feel the band can still spruce things up with the main pointer being to iron out the slip from ska to heavier moments therefore making things more liquidised and free flowing. I am not sure how many pick up on this little niggle I have (I expect very few) but to me it will help the band progress. Hey just a thought - it is what I am here for and this lot know they always have my backing. The main winning aspects of the band are the fact that they keep all areas open access and are very approachable and very keen. Seeing the slow and steady progression is where I get my main kicks and all they really need to do is work hard, never give in and keep scratching away at each song to get the finished gem as shiny and attractive as possible. Other than that...enjoy!
Another beer (well 2 in fact).
The Crash Mats are perhaps the most improved underdog band on the local scene and have come on in leaps and bounds since I first saw em' supporting the UK Subs several moons back. They do seem like a different band and whether that is to do with talent or steroid abuse is anyone’s guess ha, ha. They do mix things up nicely and tonight seemed to raise the 'ooomph' factor several tiers and so give everyone’s lugs a good old seeing to. Swift strokes of the guitar, bilious bassism, well cracked skins and many songs to thoroughly indulge in I think if the CM chaps continue at this rate they may well explode with utter overload. The songs I reviewed on CD seem completely different creations, the general drive within the band now with added super oil and the underlying DIY aspect bordering on something almost professional (oooh perish the thought). What I like mainly about this band though is the swift, sharp execution, the mixture of melodies and the reality, the overall 'bloke down the boozer' honesty. It can make the difference in the long run if the attitude is right and I can't see why this trio cannot just keep on rising to the fore of everyone's attention. I loved all songs although I ain't sure about that 'Bel Air' closure - does it detract from what has gone before - mmmm - you decide but make sure you enjoy these for what they are - another fine underdog band.
Lastly Brace For Impact, a fine set of stalwarts on a new venture and after watching their debut performance and giving due praise and criticism I wondered what progression had been made. Wow - a fuckin' granite set filled with hard edged riffs, powerhouse string and drum work and rough as a hedgehogs arse vocals. Really hard hitting fast fuck growling meat on the bone that on the last outing was never given respite and remained overcooked but on this occasion was spliced in half by a slower, more deliberate skewer of sonica and thus made the whole set a much tastier dish. 'Black Propaganda' is a fuckin' classic song and accentuated all around it with its sinewy, relentless vibes. Again a band with a sound attitude and one who bring a whole heap of experience to the table. It is a brutal silence shattering racket that is built on years of acoustic eavesdropping and when one has a soul drenched in stuff of this ilk then surely appreciation must follow. For now there is little to add although I reckon a good rising intro track of malignant malevolence and basic riffage would be well advised that continues at the close of the last number so as to give a somewhat storybook feel to each set and thus start, singe and full stop in routine style. Great finish this though to a great night and the encore was well earned.
So I didn't get to Pontypool as planned and was absolutely down in the dumps. The upshot will be more mud on the Fungal name (it goes like that) and a few chances for the detractors and deflectors to put in a ill-timed boot (it happens all the time ya know - these little minnows thinking they are so darn important) but thanks to some good old honest local fare my day and state of mind was rescued. A fine gaff, a fine gig and no reason to not do anymore. Adam Pancake Hollingworth - Fungal demands - do it you bastard or may yer plums turn to stone!
review by Fungalpunk/OMD (27 January 2013)